Higher and Lower – THE CLIMB: A Review and Interview

By Andrea Chase

The Climb begins with life-long friends Mark (director and co-writer Michael Angelo Covino) and Kyle (co-writer Kyle Marvin) cycling up a steep hill in the south of France. Mark is ahead, though both are panting heavily with the exertion. Kyle, who is about to be married, is thanking Mark for suggesting the ride, while also waxing rhapsodic about the bucolic beauty of the scene. Mark, the more experienced cyclist, is giving Kyle advice on how to pace himself. Then, while Kyle extols the virtues of his intended, Mark drops the bomb.

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The Palindromists: Was it a rat I saw?

By C.J. Hirschfield

Longtime word nerds like myself have been delighted by recent documentaries that celebrate letters and the wondrous ways they can be arranged. Films include Obit, about New York Times obituary writers, Wordplay, which covered a major crossword puzzle tournament, as well as Spellbound and Spelling the Dream, which welcomes us into the stressful world of spelling bees.

Clearly, it was only a matter of time before the “magic little puzzle” of palindromes—words, phrases, and sentences that read the same backward and forward—were thrust into the spotlight. The new documentary The Palindromists turns out to be much more of a “wow” than a “huh?”, palindromic words used to judge contestants in the World Palindrome Championship, around which the film is centered.

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